From this point onward our march was attended with the most profitable results. On the evening of the 4th of June we met a young man, named Adlekok, who, during the previous summer, had found a new cairn erected by white men near Pfeffer River, which had never been seen by any other Inuits. Near by were three graves and a tent place in which he found a pair of wire-gauze snow-goggles, which we bought from him. This information seemed of sufficient importance to be followed up immediately before any other natives should find and rob the cairn. Consequently the next day Lieutenant Schwatka and I took a light sled, with Toolooah to drive and Adlekok as guide, and visited the spot. We took a day's rations with us, to use in case we did not get back that night, and started with a head wind and storm that confined our view to the immediate vicinity of the sledge. Our guide, however, took us through this trackless waste of smooth ice, a distance of over twenty-five miles, without deviation from the direct line, with no landmarks or sun to steer by; but on he went with the unerring instinct of a dog, until we struck the land at the western banks of Pfeffer River. Arrived at the cairn we found it as he said, "a white man's cairn" unmistakably, but before proceeding to take it down we examined it carefully and found scratched on a clay stone with the point of a sharp instrument,

    H XII 

and on the opposite side,


and knew it to be the cairn erected by our countryman, Captain Hall, over the bones of two of Franklin's men which he speaks of having found here. A portion of the inscription was lost by the breaking off of a piece of the stone on which it was written. We did not take down the monument, but after making a hasty sketch, returned to camp, having travelled over fifty miles in ten hours.

At this camp we found another interesting relic, in a pine board that seems to have been part of the head of a bunk or other permanent fixture, and has the initials "L. F." in brass tacks upon it. This was picked up on the west coast of Adelaide Peninsula, near where the ship went down that drifted through Victoria Strait, and may serve to identify that vessel, thus proving a most interesting and valuable historic relic. At the next camp, which was our last stopping-place on the main-land, we met an old woman named Tooktoocheer, widow of Pooyetah, who was among the first to visit the boat place we saw a few days ago. We were somewhat disappointed in her as a witness, for she was so old that her memory was at fault, and she would wander about to different places and relate circumstances without explanation. Her son, who was present at the interview, was a lad of about twelve years when he visited the boat place with his parents, and retained a vivid recollection of the place. His testimony, therefore, proved to be what we had hoped of his mother's. All the time he was talking the old woman sat nodding approval as the circumstances he was relating were recalled to her memory. His name is Ogzeuckjeuwock, and he is an aruketko, or medicine-man, in his tribe. The recollection of the boat place was somewhat impressed upon his mind by the explosion of a can of powder with which he and another lad were playing after the articles were found there. The effects of the explosion came near proving fatal at the time, and when I met him during the fall on King William Land, he told me he had never entirely recovered from the shock.

I give the interview with Tooktoocheer and her son as I recorded it in my note-book at the time, so that each reader may draw his own conclusions. Some of the statements will undoubtedly appear strange, but in the main they are perfectly intelligible and exceedingly interesting. Tooktoocheer said she was from Okbillegeok (Pelly Bay of the charts), a portion of the Netchillik country. She is the widow of Pooyetah, spoken of by Sir John Ross and Captain Hall. She appeared to be about seventy years old, and was an object of high esteem by her people, as was evinced in the care that was bestowed upon her comfort. She said she had never seen any of Franklin's men alive, but saw six skeletons on the main-land and an adjacent island - four on the main-land and two on the island. This she pointed out on the southern coast near ninety-five degrees west longitude. There were no graves at either place. Her husband was with her at the time, and seven other Inuits. This was when she was at the boat place west of Richardson Point. In fact, she seemed to have the two places somewhat mixed up in her mind, and Ogzeuckjeuwock took up the thread of the narrative here. In answer to a question which we asked his mother, he said he saw books at the boat place in a tin case, about two feet long and a foot square, which was fastened, and they broke it open. The case was full. Written and printed books were shown him, and he said they were like the printed ones. Among the books he found what was probably the needle of a compass or other magnetic instrument, because he said when it touched any iron it stuck fast. The boat was right side up, and the tin case in the boat. Outside the boat he saw a number of skulls. He forgot how many, but said there were more than four. He also saw bones from legs and arms that appeared to have been sawed off. Inside the boat was a box filled with bones; the box was about the same size as the one with the books in it.

He said the appearance of the bones led the Inuits to the opinion that the white men bad been eating each other. What little flesh was still on the bones was very fresh; one body had all the flesh on. The hair was light; it looked like a long body. He saw a number of wire snow-goggles, and alongside the body with flesh on it was a pair of gold spectacles. (He picked out the kind of metal from several that were shown him.) He saw more than one or two pairs of such spectacles, but forgot how many. When asked how long the bodies appeared to have been dead when he saw them, he said they had probably died during the winter previous to the summer he saw them. In the boat he saw canvas and four sticks (a tent or sail), saw a number of watches, open-faced; a few were gold, but most were silver. They are all lost now. They were given to the children to play with, and have been broken up and lost. One body - the one with flesh on - had a gold chain fastened to gold ear-rings, and a gold hunting-case watch with engine-turned engraving attached to the chain, and hanging down about the waist. He said when he pulled the chain it pulled the head up by the ears. This body also had a gold ring on the ring finger of the right hand. It was taken off, and has since been lost by the children in the same way that the other things were lost. His reason for thinking that they had been eating each other was because the bones were cut with a knife or saw. They found one big saw and one small one in the boat; also a large red tin case of smoking tobacco and some pipes. There was no cairn there. The bones are now covered up with sand and sea-weed, as they were lying just at high-water mark. Some of the books were taken home for the children to play with, and finally torn and lost, and others lay around among the rocks until carried away by the wind and lost or buried beneath the sand.

His statement in reference to one of the deceased wearing a watch by a chain attached to his ears appears strange, but I give the statement as he made it. The chain may in some way have become attached to the ears, or, ridiculous as the story sounds, there may have been some eccentric person in the party who wore his watch in that way, and if such should prove to be the case, this would certainly identify him beyond doubt. While the old woman sat in our igloo giving her statement, or trying to recollect the circumstances, I succeeded in getting a good portrait sketch of her, which attracted considerable interest among the natives, and Ogzeuckjeuwock, who toward the latter part of the interview had begun to exhibit symptoms of impatience, turned quickly around as soon as he had finished, and asked to have his portrait taken also, in which I accommodated him, much to his gratification.

In reviewing the testimony of the foregoing witnesses it appears confirmatory of the opinion that the skeletons found at this place were the remains of some of the party who were seen by Ahlangyah and her friends on Washington Bay. She said that "Toolooah," "Agloocar," and "Doktook" wore spectacles, and spectacles were found at the boat place. Gold watches being found, there is also an evidence that there were officers in the party. It is probable that the five men who had a tent on shore near the Inuit "tupics" were all officers. It is also a very natural deduction that the books that were found in a sealed or locked tin case, which had to be broken open by the natives, were the more important records of the expedition, and in charge of the chief surviving officers, as it is not probable that men who were reduced to the extremity that these were, and having to drag everything by hand, would burden themselves with general reading matter. The boat, judging from the relics that we found, was a very heavy one, and copper bottomed; for most of the kettles that we saw in use among the Netchilliks were made of sheet copper that they said came from this and the other boats in Erebus Bay. But the boat was an absolute necessity and could not be abandoned. There is no doubt, however, that everything superfluous had been dropped from time to time, until nothing remained that could possibly be dispensed with, and such books as they had, besides the Nautical Almanac and Ephemeris, if indeed under the circumstances they would even carry them, were probably the most important records of the expedition.

During the year and a half that the 'Erebus' and 'Terror' were frozen fast in the Victoria Strait, the officers had probably surveyed the adjacent shores very carefully, and had undoubtedly made observations that were highly important. Especially would this be the case with their magnetical observations, as they were right upon the magnetic pole. We saw some tall and very conspicuous cairns near Cape Felix, which had no records in them, and were apparently erected as points of observation from the ships. As their terrible experience commenced after abandoning the vessels, it is probable that their time previous to that was occupied in a manner creditable to themselves and exceedingly valuable to all interested in scientific work. The records of these observations were in all probability contained in the tin box which Ogzeuckjeuwock speaks of as having been found and lost beyond recovery.

An old Netchillik, named Ockarnawole, stated that five years ago he and his son, who was also present in the igloo, made an excursion along the north-western coast of King William Land. Between Victory Point and Cape Felix they found some things in a small cask near the salt water. In a monument that he did not take down, he found between the stones five jack-knives and a pair of scissors, also a small flat piece of tin, now lost; saw no graves at this place, but found what, from his description of the way the handle was put on, was either an adze or a pickaxe. A little north of this place found a tent place and three tin cups. About Victory Point found a grave, with a skeleton, clothes, and a jack-knife with one blade broken. Saw no books. In a little bay on the north side of Collinson Inlet saw a quantity of clothes. There was plenty of snow on the ground at the time they were there.

Viewing this statement in the light of our subsequent search upon this ground, I am inclined to believe that the grave they found was not at Victory Point, but was Irving's grave, about three miles below there. We saw no evidence of any grave at Victory Point, though we made a particularly extended search around that entire section of the country. The little bay spoken of is also probably the little bay where Lieutenant Irving's grave was discovered. There is a little bay on the north side of Collinson Inlet, but Lieutenant Schwatka and I visited it several times without finding any traces of clothing or any other evidences of white men having been there; and from what we saw at other places it seems almost impossible that there could have been much there as late as five years ago without some indications remaining. The vicinity of places where boats had been destroyed, or camps where clothing was found, were invariably indicated by pieces of cloth among the rocks, at greater or less intervals, for a long distance - sometimes as far as one or two miles on either side, and it would be almost impossible to escape seeing the principal point when led to it by such gradually cumulative evidence.

From this camp we went in two marches to Cape Herschel, where we left the heaviest of our baggage, with Joe and the other Inuits, taking only the white men of the party, with Toolooah and his family, and Owanork, Equeesik's youngest brother, to assist in the management of the sled, and started for Cape Felix on the 17th. We left instructions with Joe to remain at Cape Herschel as long as they could find enough to eat there; but if there was more game further down the coast, or on the main-land, to go there, and leave stones to indicate their route, so Toolooah would know where to look for them when we returned from Cape Felix. We took a course but little west of north, and at night encamped at the head of Washington Bay. Here we left the salt-water ice and started across land, keeping the same direction, with the intention of striking Collinson Inlet near its head. Our surprise can then be imagined when, after two days' travelling, we came out on Erebus Bay, which we thought was far to the west. This discrepancy was afterward accounted for when we found, by a comparison with the position of points between Cape Jane Franklin and Cape Felix, established by Sir James Ross, and confirmed by the officers of the 'Erebus' and 'Terror', that Cape Herschel is really about eighteen or twenty miles further west than mapped on the Admiralty charts.

The travelling across land was exceedingly heavy and tedious, owing to the softening condition of the snow, and to the lakes being covered with water to the depth of about six or eight inches. In the morning the slight crust on the snow, formed during the night, would break through at nearly every step; while during the rest of the day it was simply wading through slush or water. We found the salt-water ice also in a bad condition for travelling. It was very old ice, and as hummocky as it is possible for ice to be. We usually kept near the coast, where we found pretty good sledging; but one day we took to the hummocks, to avoid a great detour that following the shore ice would have entailed upon us, and did it to our sorrow. The fall snows and winter winds had piled up around and among the hummocks, filling in the interstices, so that, were the snow frozen, the sledging would not have been so very difficult; but the sun had already poured his rays upon it, day and night, for so long a time that the snow was soft, and nearly every step would break through.

Sometimes we would sink to our waists, and then our legs would be dangling in slush and water without finding bottom. The sled would often sink so that the dogs could not pull it out, light as was the load, and when we would gather round to help them, we could only get an occasional foothold, perhaps by kneeling in a hummock, or holding on with one hand while we pulled with the other. Even the dogs could not pull to any advantage. Some would be floundering in the slush and water, while others were scrambling over the broken ice, and yet under all these disadvantages we were able to make a march of ten miles, through the skill and experience of our Inuit dog driver. Without the assistance of dogs and natives, it is altogether probable that we would not have been able to accomplish more than two or three miles at the best; and I can well understand that Dr. Hayes had so much difficulty in crossing Smith Sound through the heavy hummocks in the spring of 1861. But at the same time I feel pretty well convinced that with plenty of good dogs and competent native drivers to manage the sledges, there is no ice in the Arctic that would prevent an average march of ten miles a day, with light loads, during the long days of spring. I would not even stipulate for such an exceptionally excellent guide and driver as our faithful Toolooah. Such as he are rare anywhere, and especially so among the Esquimaux. He is not only the best hunter in his tribe, but the best dog driver, and the most energetic man I have seen among all the tribes with whom I have come in contact. He is more like a capable white man, in that respect, than an Esquimau, and there is a legend in his tribe that he was never known to be tired. It is certain that to him, more than to all the other natives with us, combined, is due the success of our enterprise.

When the weather was unpropitious for hunting, and we would be without food, it was nothing more than the usual Inuit custom to say, "Ma-muk-poo-now" ("No good"), and sit down to wait for the weather to improve. But under such circumstances I have known our brave-hearted Toolooah rise equal to the emergency and go out to hunt for game until he found it. The others would perhaps go out and look around for a short time, and if they saw no game would come in, while he would not get in until nearly midnight, if, as was seldom the case, he came in empty-handed. I remember one time when we were without food, and moving into a portion of the country which we knew to be but thinly stocked with game. The hunters all went out, though the weather was thick with snow, and the only probability of seeing reindeer was that they might stumble upon them unobserved by the accident of approaching them against the wind. The others came in about noon, discouraged, having seen no game. Toolooah, on the contrary, did not get in until about five hours later; then he came in for the dogs, to bring in three reindeer that he had killed a few miles north of the camp. He went out in a south-westerly direction, and started to make a circuit of the camp on a radius of about five miles. By this ingenious course he came upon the fresh tracks of three reindeer, and at once started in pursuit, determined to follow them until he came up to them. The days were short, and he had to move rapidly, so that he absolutely ran about twelve miles until he overtook and killed them. I merely mention this incident to show the kind of metal our Toolooah is made of; not as a sample of Inuit character, but as a remarkable contrast to it.

Our ten-mile march through Erebus Bay occupied fifteen hours, and we were all pretty well worn out when we reached the shore and encamped, still some distance below Franklin Point. We lay over the next day, for Toolooah, who had exerted himself even beyond his great powers of endurance, was still quite exhausted, and though he expressed his readiness to resume the journey, Lieutenant Schwatka did not think it sufficiently urgent to run the risk of breaking him down altogether; not only out of personal regard for the noble fellow, but, as he was our sole dependence, losing his services would have been a sad if not a fatal disaster to the entire party. During the day I shot two of an apparently distinct species of snipe, to preserve their skins for the Smithsonian Institute collection. One of them was distinguished by a sweet, simple song, somewhat similar to the lark's, its silvery tones gushing forth as if in perfect ecstasy of enjoyment of sunshine and air; at the same time rising and poising itself upon its wings. It seemed almost inhuman to kill the sweet little songster, particularly as it was the only creature I saw in the Arctic that uttered a pleasant note. All other sounds were such as the scream of the hawk and the gull, the quack of the duck, the yell of the wolf, the "Ooff! ooff!" of the walrus, or the bark of the seal - all harsh and unmelodious, save the tones of this sweet little singer. Nothing but starvation or scientific research could justify the slaughter of one of these innocents. I believe I shut my eyes when I pulled the trigger of my gun, and I know my heart gave a regretful thump when I heard the thud of its poor, bleeding body upon the ground. When we started for Franklin Point the next day, Lieutenant Schwatka concluded to follow Toolooah's advice, and keep upon the smooth ice near the shore, even though it should increase the distance marched. Our experience of the hummocks of Victoria Strait was not one that we were anxious to repeat. We had a short stretch of similar work in crossing the mouth of an inlet just below Franklin Point, and we were glad enough when we got through. The thermometer registered thirty-seven degrees in the shade, and sixty degrees in the sun. There was scarcely any wind, and coats were a burden of which we had soon to relieve ourselves. The heat while walking was quite as exhausting as ninety-eight degrees in the shade at New York. We saw a number of seals on the ice opposite the mouth of the inlet, and Toolooah shot one which was an unusually big specimen. In fact, the average of those we saw in this part of the country is much larger than those at Hudson's Bay.

During the entire day and night small flocks of ducks were flying swiftly past the tent, and so unaccustomed are they to meeting human beings in that wilderness, that they would be almost directly on the tent before they saw it, which only caused them to deviate a little to the right or left, or put on a little more steam. Lieutenant Schwatka seated himself on a rock alongside the tent, with his double-barrelled breech-loading shot-gun in his hand, and in a short time stopped three - two drakes and a duck. The drakes are exceedingly pretty, especially about the head and neck. The head is of a pale olive-green hue, a fashionable color in silks a few years ago, and known by the extraordinary name of "Elephant's Breath." This gradually merges into a very pale, warm gray, the line of demarcation between it and the very dark brown, which constitutes the general color of the body, being very abrupt. The bill is of a vermilion red, and surmounted by a bright orange-colored crest, with a black border as positively marked as if of black tape. At this season we usually see the drakes flying together, and the ducks in separate bands, reminding one of the division of sexes in a country meeting-house. We often came upon an immense body of drakes sitting upon the edge of an ice-floe, looking very much like a regiment of hussars at a distance drawn up in line of battle. The duck is not so gaudy as her husband. She is quite contented in a full suit of mottled brown and olive gray, presenting a texture on the back somewhat similar to the canvas-back species of Chesapeake Bay. About half-past ten o'clock in the evening, Toolooah and I walked up to the crest of a ridge, north of camp, to see if there were any points still to the north of us in this meridian. We found the coast bearing off well toward the eastward, and then toward the north-east, and knew it to be the upper coast of Franklin Point. We also saw a reindeer, which Toolooah shot before returning to camp.

When we left Franklin Point, the four white men of the party kept upon the land near the coast, and left the sled in charge of the Inuits to follow along the shore ice. The snow was entirely off the ridges, and only lay in great patches of soft slush in the valleys and upon occasional marshes. We spread out on the land, so as to cover as much ground in our search as possible, moving along like a line of skirmishers, with instructions that in case we saw anything that we did not understand, or which required further investigation, to make signals to assemble. In this way, before reaching Collinson Inlet, we found the graves of two white men, near one of which was lying the upper part of a skull; while within the pile of stones we found the upper maxilla, with two teeth, and a piece of the cheekbone. No other human bones were found; but these were laid together for burial on our return, when we could give a more thorough search.